Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - Week 7

I'm always so glad to hear that everyone is doing well!  I hope Grandma Ingrid is still hanging in there.  Tell おばあさん (obaasan)I say がんばって下さい(ganbatte kudasai).  I absolutely love hearing about Miriam and Lillia.  I'm pretty sure I've said it before, but out of anyone or anything about being home, I miss those two little angels the most! 
It's so great to hear about all of the people who are growing ever closer to receiving a mission call.  I am so excited to hear where Matt Stevens will be going!  It is absolutely amazing how many missionaries there are (even though it does for long lines at the cafeteria sometimes...haha!)!  Mission calls are truly received by prophets through revelation.  There have been a good few speakers from the missionary department in the church, and they've all related amazing experiences they've had when they've been with one of the 12 Apostles and seen a mission call assigned.  It is something that I marvel at everyday as I put my nametag on.  I have been called by a prophet of God to represent the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I know that I don't fully understand the power of the calling of a missionary, nor do I fully comprehend what it truly means to be a missionary.  But I do know that the work of spreading the Gospel and bringing souls to Christ is of utmost importance, and I try my best each day to learn how to Preach His Gospel in His way.  Being a missionary is great!
Sounds like you've got plenty of adventures coming up in the next little while.  I completely forgot that you are going to be headed to Hawaii!  すばらしいですよ!  I would say I'm jealous, でも....私は日本へ行きます!!!  (demo...watashi wa, Ni Hon e ikimasu!!!)
私は日本語がしんぽしています。けれども、いつもかいぜんできます!(watashi wa, NiHonGo ga shinpo shite imasu.  keredomo, itsumo kaizen dekimasu!)
Japanese is coming along more and more.  I'm very excited, because a group of 日本人せんきょうし(NiHon jin senkyoshi) just arrived yesterday!  It's going to be so helpful to have native speakers to practice with and to learn from!  They'll be leaving the same time that we will.
I'm still leaving on March 11, so far as I know.  I haven't been told anything else otherwise.  I'm sure I'll be receiving more information about it either this week or the next.  It's so crazy to think that in two weeks from yesterday, I'll be heading to Japan!  すごいですね?時間がどこに行きましたか?(Sugoi ne?  Jikan ga doko ni ikimashita ka?).
Today I was able to go and do sealings in the Temple.  It was an amazing experience!  I acted as a son for quite a few sealings.  The sealer had studied Japanese for 60 years and had once worked in the Tokyo temple.  It was amazing to hear him talk about his experiences!
I'm doing great, and I love you so much!
Elder Hutchings

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - Week 6

Mom and Dad,
Since yesterday was President's Day, if you sent something via I won't get it until this evening.  I got Dad's e-mail, but I haven't gotten anything from Mom.  That's okay though.  Things are going great here in the MTC.  My birthday was great, and I had a good day.  Thank you for the package, and tell everyone who included things thank you for me.  I've been so busy and I'm not sure if I'll be able to write a letter to say thank you to everyone.  The weather has been growing ever sunnier and warmer, it's such a pleasant change.  It's crazy to think that including this week I've got 3 weeks left of my stay in the MTC.  As much as I love the MTC, I do wish to get into the field and helping people come closer to Christ.  But I don't get annoyed about it because I remember that even though I have been assigned to labor in Japan, the Lord has called me first and foremost to be a missionary.  That means I am to do whatever the Lord wants me to do and do my best to represent Jesus Christ and work my hardest wherever I am.
This week I read an amazing talk titled, "The Fourth Missionary" by Laurence E. Corbridge.  If you're able to find it, Dad, or have heard of it already, I think it would be so great to share with the young men.  For that matter, I think it's a great talk to share with anyone.  It talks about how there are four main categories of missionaries, the differences between them, and why they turn out the way they do.  It has really helped me to put into perspective what I want to become not just as a missionary, but as a child of God working for eternal progression.
The Ni Hon Go is coming along well.  I'm able to communicate better and better every day.  Teaching and explaining the Gospel in Ni Hon Go is improving.  I can't fully express everything I want to, but that will come with time and practice I'm sure.  It is truly the Lord's work that I am called to do, and as such I must study and learn the Japanese that the Lord wants me to.  I read this week in Preach My Gospel chapter 7 about language study.  In the chapter there's a quote by Elder Holland (I think it's on page 128) about how we need to hold onto the abilities that the Lord has helped us gain.  After our missions we need to keep practicing our mission language.  He says something along the lines that the Lord has invested much in us, and may have use of those abilities later.  So I'm just curious, how do you think your Ni Hon Go is, Dad?  How is Jason's Chinese?  (Craig probably doesn't have to worry so much about his Canadian.)  It might be worth considering and praying about if a little language study would be good for you to hold on to the abilities that God has blessed you with while you were serving Him full-time.
I don't think I need or want anything.  Thank you so much for your support.  Dad, I've gained a few pounds.  I think I weigh 146 now, compared to about 142 when I entered the MTC.  I've been running nearly a 20min 5K twice a week, running stairs one day, stationary biking another, and I do an upper body workout on another day.  I feel fantastic.  Eternally tired, but fantastic!
I love you so much!
-Elder Hutchings

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - Week 5

お父さんとお母さん、 (otosan to okasan)
私はいつもげんきですよ! (watashi wa itsumo genki desu yo!)
I'm doing great!  The 日本語 is coming along just fine.  Hapi長老 (choro - elder) and I taught a lesson in District meeting this past 日よう日 (Nichiyobi - Sunday) about Enduring to the End.  It went very well.  An interesting thing I learned from one of the Elder's in my district is that one of the reasons we are charged to endure to the end here in this life is because it is preparation for the eternities.  Part of enduring to the end is always learning and growing, and since we will be doing that for all time and eternity, it is so essential that we learn how to do so now.  I had never thought of enduring to the end in that way.  It's truly amazing how many new insights can be gained by teaching rather than being the "student."  I'm so excited to enter the mission field, because I will be able to have that opportunity of being taught while I'm teaching much more frequently.
That's so great that Shannon did a good job!  I'm sure she will be an incredible missionary.  She's such an amazing person.  I'll probably have time sometime this week to look up that talk you mentioned that she used.  If you're able to, tell Shannon that I love her and wish her luck!
I'm glad to hear that everyone is doing well.  Great that Grandpa is healing and able to get around well enough.  It's so wonderful to hear about how Lilia and Miriam are.  I'm not going to lie, out of everyone there is to miss, I miss those two the most!  Grandma Ingrid is finally figuring out her Kitchen Aid, eh?  I remember she was having some trouble with it.  おもしろいね (omoshiroi ne - funny, eh?)
Great to hear about the Priests and Teachers activitiy!  Tell those young men to pay attention, because they definitely will be using those skills that they learn.  A couple of weeks ago one of the buttons came off of the sleeve on one of my suit jackets.  I had to sew it back on, and you had better believe that I remember that evening at the Lewis' home.
Jolly 長老 and his どうりょう (doryo - companion) are the Zone Leaders.  Jolly 長老 isn't in my district, but I see him around plenty.  His district's classroom is right next to mine, and he lives on the same floor in the same residence hall as I do.  Oh, and I most certainly have seen Elder Leavitt around!  I've met so many people I know while I've been here.  It's amazing to see all of my friends from high school serving the Lord as full-time missionary.
すばらしい!!! (subarashii - wonderful)  That's wonderful to hear that Brent and Annie are engaged!  I am so happy for them!  Please keep me up to speed on the details of their wedding. 
I can't say that I need anything.  The MTC is still dandy and I'm doing well.
Thank you for all of your love, support, and prayers.
あいしていますよ!(ai shite imasu yo! - I love you!)
Elder Hutchings

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - Week 4

Otosan to Okasan!
I've been doing absolutely fine as of late!  The weather has been getting better and better.  It's absolutely crazy to think that it's already February!  Oh, Aaron Jolly and his companion were appointed to be Zone leaders this last Sunday! I know that he will be an amazing Zone leader and will greatly magnify his calling.  I can't tell you just how amazingly much I am learning. I have learned so much about being an effective tool in the Lord's hands, about the Gospel, and about Japanese as well.  I learned something amazing while listening to a talk by Elder Bednar in class yesterday.  He talked about an experience he had while he was on his mission that involved Elder Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve (It has something to do with a 20 Marc note, if you can look it up I highly suggest you do).  Anyway, what I learned was that we will rarely realize that we are being led by the Spirit in the moment.  So often I have felt that if I'm being led by the Spirit I will know it and I will know precisely that it is guiding me.  But that's seldom the case.  Elder Bednar said that as long as we are striving to be good boys and girls and simply doing what we know to be right, the Spirit will guide our actions.  We must not be seized with anxiety because we don't know whether or not the decisions we are making and things we are saying are from the Spirit.  So long as we are worthy and trying our best to do what is right, the Spirit will guide us.
So about my everyday life, I'm sorry I didn't do this earlier, but just to give you an idea of what my average day is like:
6:00 am.  Wake up and get ready for the day
7:00 - In my classroom planning for the day with my companion
7:45 - Breakfast
8:20 - Gospel, missionary fundamentals, and language class, progressing investigator
11:20 - 12:20 - Personal study time
12:20 - Lunch
1:20 - Gym time
2:45 - Language study
3:55 - TALL lab time - TALL is a language learning computer program
4:55 - Additional study time
5:25 - Dinner
6:10 - Gospel, missionary fundamentals, and language class, progressing investigator (morning and evening classes have a different sensei)
9:10 - Additional study time
9:30 - Get ready for bed
10:30 - Bed
That's how my days are every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Thursdays and Saturdays only differ in that gym time is in the evening at 8:00 so some of the other things are switched around.  Tuesdays are P-days, as you are well aware.
I'm glad to hear that everyone and everything is well.  Mom, the Elder from Hawaii is an Elder Ammon Pollister.  He's headed for Fukuoka and says he really loves Paul, Laurie and all of their family. 
I love being a missionary.  In the MTC it has been busy and it's been a lot of hard work.  But it bringing souls to Christ is the most important work I can do.  Thank you for your love and support.
Elder Hutchings

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - Week 3

Butler Kyodai and Butler Shimai talked to me about how they ran into you, Mom.  I didn't realize that you knew them!  Butler Kyodai took the photo this last Sunday just after Seisan meeting.

I have met Fish Shimai.  She's really awesome.  I ran into her shortly after entering the MTC and told her that I knew her sister's roommate.

The package was awesome!  Thank you so much for all of the junk!  Tell Craig thanks for sending the frogs and trail mix.  Goodness me, I eat way too much food here in the MTC!  Besides gym time, most of my life is just classes and studying.  I'll eat a huge meal, have class and study for a few hours, eat another huge meal, study for a few hours again, eat more food, then have class and study then go to bed.  Sometimes at mealtimes I don't even know if I'm hungry, but I eat just to eat.  It's no wonder that a lot of missionaries get chunky when they're in the MTC!

I'm really sorry to hear about Uncle Wayne's father passing away.  I send my condolences and love.  I send Rich my love too.  I hope he recovers well.  It's good to hear that Grandpa is still doing well.

Things are going just fine here in the MTC.  The Ni Hon Go is coming along bit by bit, my companion and I are still getting along just fine, and I'm learning how to better be a tool in the Lord's hands everyday.

I love you and appreciate your love and support.

--Elder Hutchings

Elder Hutchings & Elder Hapi - taken by President Butler (Branch Presidency)